Committee Reports

Letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Judicial Independence in Kenya


With help from the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice (Alexander Papachristou, Executive Director), along with the International Human Rights Committee (Anil Kalhan, Chair), African Affairs Committee (Melanie Claassen and Victoria Safran, Co-Chairs) and the Task Force on the Independence of Lawyers and Judges (William A. Wilson, III, Chair), the City Bar sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Kenya to express deep concern about recent attacks against the Kenyan judiciary. The attacks followed a landmark Supreme Court decision that voided the August 8 election. We wrote: “The decision is truly historic and will have positive long-term implications for the rule of law in Kenya and in other jurisdictions around the world. However, intimidation of the judiciary subverts the democratic gains consolidated by the decision.” We urged the Kenyan government to continue to respect the independence of the judiciary as provided by the Constitution of Kenya, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and the United Nations (UN) Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.